Every race you learn something new, don’t you?
I, for example, after running the Soldier Field 10 Miler last Saturday, learned that save for the Turkey Trot that my brother-in-law and I run on Thanksgiving, I really have no desire to do a race again.
Okay, maybe a short one here or there, like an 8K or a 5K. But only if it’s for a good cause, like Save the Elephants. Or whales, if they still need saving. Or if I get to dress up like Elvis. And I have someone to run with. And someone takes me out for kegs ‘n eggs afterwards. Or at least an omelet. With sausage in it. And feta.
But as for longer races, I think I’m done for the moment. Running is a lonely sport, particularly when everyone you know is faster than you. I’m totally comfortable with my slow pace, as the finishing part is much more important to me than how long it takes me to get there, but when you’re bored with talking to yourself at mile two, well, maybe it’s time to say thanks, but no thanks, to thinking about future races that have any great length to them. Or that do not give you a pie at the end of it all.
I will say, though, that this Soldier Field 10 Miler was a good race to run as the last one before my self-induced race hiatus. Let’s face it—I may not have gotten a pie at the end, but I did get to end on the 50-yard line of Soldier Field. (Or, if you are from Chicago, Soldiers Field.) And that right there is pretty wicked. PLUS, you get to be on the Jumbotron when you cross the finish line! Not that I looked up to see myself on the (literally) big screen, as I was too busy having this conversation in my head:
(as am running the last half-mile, which takes you through the semi-bowels of the stadium) Two hours. The goal is to do this in under two hours. You can do this. Maybe. Unless it’s already past two hours. Hard to say, since you forgot to wear a watch. Oohhh…Cher’s If I Could Turn Back Time. Damn, girl, if I could turn back time I wouldn’t have signed up for this damn race. Yes, I would have. No, maybe not. I don’t really know. Holy shit my feet hurt. Two hours. Two hours. If I could find a way, I’d take back all the miles that have hurt you, feet, and you’d stay…not hurting. Under two hours. Two hours. Crimony this is a long half mile. Wait! Hey! I can see daylight! That’s the tunnel opening! I can see the green football field! Hey! I can see the finish line! Hey! I can see the time clo—
HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD I HAVE LESS THAN A MINUTE TO CROSS THAT FINISH LINE IF I WANT TO MAKE IT UNDER TWO HOURS I AM DOING THIS ZOOOOOOOM
And with that, my friends, I ran—sprinted, really—toward the finish line so fast you’d think Ed McMahon had come back from the dead and was waiting with an oversized check and a contract for a tell-all book about my experiences running half marathons and shamrock shuffles and jingle all the ways so as to inspire other people out there who think these types of things are grand ideas until the actual day of the race and then they get into their corrals and they’re all “HFS, WHY DID WE LISTEN TO THAT CRAZY WOMAN SHE DOESN’T KNOW SQUAT ABOUT WHAT CONSITUTES GOOD IDEAS I MEAN HAVE YOU SEEN HER HAIR LATELY AND I COULD BE IN BED SLEEPING RIGHT NOW AND I WAS PROMISED AN OMELET.”
Official time was 1:59:25.